This refers to Abhijit Lele’s report “Banks flag ‘tardy’ work at recovery tribunals” (March 24). As an ex-senior executive of an all India development finance institution and currently running an enterprise assisting players in the financial sector, particularly in the stressed asset segment, I can say that the focus in the report is apt and calls for immediate attention. Endless adjournments and multiple interim or miscellaneous applications — particularly by recalcitrant borrowers — prolonged the whole thing. Tribunals tend to follow Code of Civil Procedure, which are aimed at thwarting attempts at recovery. Unless are there strong legal grounds, the procedure should be curtailed and the main application must be given immediate attention.
Apart from creating proper infrastructure, the thrust should be on periodic monitoring of cases, age-wise, by an authority such as a retired High Court or Supreme Court judge and the copies of reports thus prepared should be marked to the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India for further follow up. This will create pressure not only on tribunals (both original and appellate) but also on lenders and advocates dealing with the cases. Further, there is need to re-work jurisdiction and/or create more appellate tribunals. For example, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam come under Kolkata appellate tribunal. It is not clear how Hyderabad is any closer to Kolkata than, say Chennai or Bengaluru. Logistics arrangements for litigants and defendants also pose problem in such cases.
C Gopinath Nair, Kochi
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